The Christmas holidays bring in more than just excitement. With so many festive parties this season, we are all eating more ‘naughty’ foods and drinking more alcohol than we usually do. It’s no wonder that so many people gain extra weight during Christmas. But you can avoid this and start living a healthy lifestyle inside out with Pilates.

International celebrities love Pilates because it works the “core” muscles with a series of slow,controlled movements. once you get used to it, you’ll be surprised at how easily it slips into your everyday activities. The secret to Pippa Middleton’s perfect figure – lean, long body and a sough to after bottom – is a weekly Pilates session. Kate Winslet doesn’t have much time to go to the gym but she does at least a 20 minute Pilates workout every day. David Beckham was introduced to Pilates while he was with AC Milan in 2009, and he has been in the best shape he ever has been since he started doing a one-hour daily routine.

If you’re interested in looking good, feeling great and living healthy, then join a Pilates class. In Sydney, ballet dancer and Pilates instructor Cynthia Lochard has a Pilates Method Studio that tailors a program to completely suit each individual’s specific needs to help bring better strength, balance, flexibility,control and vitality back into a person’s life.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a non-aerobic exercise, so your muscles are not worked into exhaustion. There’s no straining or sweating; all that’s needed is intense concentration. It intends to lengthen and stretch all major muscle groups of the body in a balanced manner, through rhythm and breathing patterns. It’s anindividualised exercise specialising on each person’s specific needs; so it benefits everybody – athletes, pregnant women, people with low fitness levels, and those with limited mobility.

Benefits of Pilates

More and more people are turning to Pilates workouts because of their positive and holistic results. Here are some of the reasons Pilates exercise is growing more popular all over the world:

• Develops core strength

• Improves muscle strength, balance and tone

• Increases flexibility

• Improves posture

• Rehabilitates or prevents muscle-related injuries

• Increases lung capacity and circulation

• Improves concentration

• Increases body-mind awareness

• Improves stress management and relaxation

• Provides a whole-body fitness training, which includes breathing and concentration

• Increases energy

• Promotes weight loss and a perfectly toned appearance

The Six Principles of Pilates

The health and life benefits stated above are achievable because Pilates focuses on six basic principle that aim for a holistic mind-body awareness, balance and improvement. Here are the core foundation based on Joseph Pilates’ philosophy of the Art of Contrology:

• Centering

- Focuses on the body’s centre – between the lower ribs and pubic bone

• Concentration

- Brings full attention to each movement

• Control

- Maintains complete muscular control in every movement

• Precision

- Sustains awareness throughout each movement to keep proper placement and alignment of body parts

• Breath

- Uses full, well-coordinated breathing while doing the exercises

• Flow

- Keeps a fluid, graceful and even manner in each movement

If you want to achieve a stronger, longer, leaner, more flexible, and a more balanced body – without straining your muscles, then join a Pilates class for your holistic development.

Author's Bio: 

Cynthia Lochard’s Pilates Method Studio is a Sydney-based Pilates studio that offers private Pilates classes and group Pilates workout sessions with certified Pilates Instructor. Visit our website for information and enquiries.